Monday, January 31, 2011

Yang Can Cook

And so can I! With my off the Homestead job, My normal days off are Monday and Tuesdays. And I help Terri cook dinner or (because she is back in night school now), I do the wole thing. So last Monday night I fixed dinner and had it ready when she and Mark got home.
Dinner was Chowder with smoked sausage and corn. The day had been cold and we wanted something filling and something to warm us from the in-side out!

Here you see my two taste testers. Eli on the left and Dodger on the right.
Also on the menu was a green salad and toasted sourdough bread.
And for desert......STRAWBERRY SHORT CAKE!

I think they both liked the potatoes!

How's that for a single guy?
And tonight I cooked 7-layer dip with torttia chips! and wait until you see what I made for desert!!

until next time...Have a great day!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Bella Ready for bed.

A lot of people  believe that when a animal dies that they cross over the "RAINBOW BRIDGE" and wait on the other side for their human to pass in their own time. I like that idea!
This morning at about 11 o'clock, Bella crossed the bridge. She was so sick and had not eaten anything for over two weeks. And the only water she had taken voluntarily was from rain puddles in the yard (she wouldn't drink water from a bowl in the house). She went to the Vet twice over the past few weeks to be hooked up to IVs to rehydrate her and to try different medications to kill the infection she had. But nothing worked and she was surviving off the reserves she had in her own body.
This morning she was barley able to get off the couch and make it out side. she stumbled down the stairs and then just lay down in the grass. She picked a spot in the sun and didn't get get up. It was at that point that I called the Vet and made the decision that she couldn't go on this way any more. So I took her to the Dr's office and said my last good-by.

You know,  I think all animals have a talent all their own, you just have to spend some time with them to see it! Well Bella's talent was SMILING. She is the only dog I have ever had that was able to do this. And she had different smiles, for different situations!
When I would come home at night from work, she would be standing in the kitchen and as I came Thu the door she would lay her front legs flat on the floor, butt in the air and her tail going 90 MPH! She would wag that tail so hard that her whole back end would get to going! Then she would do a low bark and rumble in her chest and then she would SMILE! Roll her lips back and put her teeth together and SMILE!
Bella was what I call a "Horizon Dog", If she got out of the house and was not on her leash, she would take off for the horizon. Running full out, chasing birds, rabbits or just a piece of paper blowing across the yard. And she had the biggest SMILE on her face!!! But this was a SMILE of "I know that I'm not suppose to do this, BUT SO WHAT? I'm glad I did it and can't wait until I can do it again"! SMILING the whole time!
I have had a lot of dogs and cats in my life, and they have crossed the bridge too. There was "NICK", the golden retriever (Who died of bone Cancer), and "Bandit, the border collie, who lived to a ripe old age of 14. And "Maggie, Sam, and many cats that have been a part of my life. They are all on the other side of the bridge, So Bella has lots of company and will not be lonely while she waits for me to cross.
I want to thank all of you who have been pulling for Bella to get better!! She had a lot of people who love her and will miss her. Thanks for the comments and the support! It made it easier for me to deal with all of this.!!
And lastly, Good by Bella. I love you and I'm sorry that you had to go!!! But Wait for me on the other side of the bridge. I'll be there, I PROMISE!!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I said earlier that I believe that I live and work on my HOMESTEAD. I Googled the word Farm and Homestead, and this is what the Free Dictionary had to say:

A tract of land, usually with house, barn, silo, etc, on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.

The home place, A home and the enclosure or ground immediately connected with it. The Homestead Act of 1862 gave an individual, 21 years of age the right to claim a section of land (160 acres), live on it for 5 years, make improvements and file for title to that land. Until the law was repealed in 1936, 10 percent of the land within the lower 48 state's was claimed by Homesteaders. Better then half never filed a claim, could not make a go of it.

So that is the legal definition. But I still refer to my 3 small acres as my Homestead! I do not expect to make a living off this land. But I do plain on trying to be as self-surfactant as I can. Growing my own food is a big part of that. To say that the soil here is POOR, is the biggest understatement of the century!
The corn field that my 3 acres use to be part of was used so badly by the farmers that only the weeds do well. After decades of heavy tractors, plows and harvesters, the sub-soil is like concrete. Its mostly sand (no humus material or real soil to speak of, and WORMS - forgetaboutit!!!). And the use of chemicals to control weeds and fertilize, I believe that there is some of that stuff still out there. We have lost most of the trees, flowers and produce that we have tried to grow over the last three years. I planted two pear trees the first year here and they are sickly and their leaves turn black every early into the growing season. One tree, (the bigger of the two) had two small pears on it this past year. They turned black right along with the leaves. And to try to grow produce is a constant battle with the poor soil, deer, rabbits and the WEEDS! We have volunteer corn everywhere! And a hybrid seed was used, so the volunteer plants come back as the parent plant. They are stunted and very deep rooted. We can not just pull them out, they have to be dug out. And I'm talking about 100's of plants here!
So this year we will be building raised beds and making our own growing medium. 1/3 composted horse manure, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 worm castings. The beds will be in wooden box's, (from recycled wood!) 8" X 8". We will start out small and build on that system over the next few years.
And my project for next spring will be Chickens! For both eggs and meat.
So it will be a work - in - progress. And a HOMESTEAD, not a farm!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Still the same

Hey everyone,
Just to let you know , Bella is about the same. Last Thursday she spent the day with the Vet and received two more liters of fluids. When I went to pick her up the DR. gave me a bottle of liquid protein that is suppose to jump-start her appetite. I have given this to her three times a day (50 ml each time) and its a messy job, but it does not seem to make a difference. She still does not eat and takes very little water on her own. At least the liquid gives her some nutrition. She still gets 6 antibiotic pills a day to combat the infection, But this is one very bad infection! Once it set up shop, it is very hard to kill it.
I again want to thank all of you for your comments and I make sure to read each one to Bella. Just to make sure she knows that there are people out there pulling for her!
I will be making another post tomorrow, So I will talk to you then.
Thanks again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Old read - New read

OK, so I said no Bella report as I promised. Suffice to say that she is home and took two liters by IV and is felling better.

I was up reading a new Blog (A Home Gown Journal) the other night and one of her post talked about the books that were on her night stand that she will read this winter. Well as is my wit, I'm going to barrow her idea and talk about two books that I have and have enjoyed very much.

The first is the book you see above, The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. I have had this book for years, in one form or another. I got my first copy back in the late 70's, early 80's and it went on every where with me while I was in the Navy. This is the book that jump-started my dream to own a HOMESTEAD. I don't think of my place as a farm, and the way I look at it is anything that I raise here will be for my own use and the use of family and friends. This book, along with  early publication's of "The Mother Earth  News" (that will be the subject of another post very soon!)  were instrumental in the "BACK TO THE LAND" movement that took place back in the early 70's
But Carla's Book is huge and has so much information in it and is a very down to earth, good read. I have had three copies of her book over the years, The first was the sixth edition that I allowed someone to barrow and never got it back! The second copy was the seventh edition and by the time this copy came out, Carla was a very well known person on all the morning shows. She even did the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson a few times! This is were I saw her the first time. I read that copy so many times that some of the pages were falling out and it was pretty beat up. It even made the 52,000  mile, 9 month cruse to the "First Gulf War" with me.
I'm sorry to say that Carla passed away back in 2005 while on a book tour. And that is when I got the ninth edition I have now. I never got the chance to meet her, I wished I had!! I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to grow a few tomatoes or raise a few chickens.

This is the book that was part of the stack on "MAMA PEAS" night stand. and what a wonderful book it is. Kiistin Kimball was a free-lance writer living and working in N.Y. City, who took her skills out to the sticks of up-state New York and now lives with her husband and two little girls. They own and operate a CSA that provides 100 + people year round produce, meet, poultry and dairy. Its an amazing story and this book covers the first year on the land where they live. And they do this with very little use of tractors or heavy machinery, They use Horses!
Another great find!
So what do you read, I need new material. Its going to be a long cold winter and I can only take so much of all the "Seed Catalogs (got three more today! that's 11 so far!!).
P.S. Thanks again to all the followers who have made comments about Bella. I'll give an up-date in a few days. And Thank you to Ruth and welcome aboard! I hope I don't disappoint!
Take care!

Another post about Bella

I know that Bella has been the subject of all my posts recently. But that's what it is! Took her back to the Vet again this morning. She is slowly slipping away, But I can't let go! So they are putting her on IV's today to rehydrate her and see if that will jump-start her to getting better. She is still only taking a little water and will not eat anything.
And I'm coming to the end of my money road. I hate that it comes down to that! But that too is what it is!

Here are a few photos of my girl when she was feeling better.
enjoying the late afternoon sun this past fall.

Bella and her play mate Luke.

Ready for a good nights sleep. She nearly takes up the whole bed!

I want to thank "Apple Pie Gal, Leigh (over at "5 acres and a Dream) and Bev ("Bee Haven Acres", Have fun with the worms!!!) for your concern and suggestions!
I promise the next post will be about the worms or some other farm thing!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bella is eatting

A little any way. And she looks forward to going out side and looking for those rabbits she loves so much. The Dr said that she would have to stay on the medication for at least a month and that progress would be slow. The infection is akin to Rocky Mountain spotted fever and she may never be 100 percent. But she is on the road to recovering.
I want to thank all those who have sent e-mails and said that they were praying for her. And to "Apple Pie Gal" and Leigh over at "5 acres and a Dream", A special Thanks so much. I know it made a difference!
I went to work last Friday and had to leave her at home. She is still having a problem keeping the meds down and I worry about her when I'm gone. But that night I had to work the truck gate (at QVC). The main thing I do is check in/out semi-tractor trailers into the yard for off/on loads. One of the last trucks I had come in was driven by a Lady truck driver and I noticed that she had a dog in the cab with her.
So we started talking and I told her about Bella. She made some suggestions on what I might try to get Bella to eat (at that point Bella had not eaten any solid food for over 10 days!).  The truck left the yard and I came on home later.
I tried to get Bella to eat some yogurt, and she did take a little of it and drank a little water. I gave her the pills later and she was not able to keep any of it down for longer then 15 - 20 minutes.
When I went to bed later, Bella came in and jumped up next to me and we had a discussion I told her that she was not going to be able to be sick for much longer. And that alot of people were worried about her. She snuggled deeper into her blanket and went to sleep. I don't know if she even paid attention to anything I  said.
The next morning she went out like normal and came back into the house and went right to her water bowl and waited until I filled it with fresh water and then took a good drink without me having to talk her into it. Maybe the prayers and the talking too did some good? But it looks like she maybe turned the corner and will show a little improvement each day!
Thanks again to you all and to the Lady truck driver for her help.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bella update

Bella is one sick puppy! took her back to the vet today and he put her on IV fluids to rehydrate her. He also ran a Complete Blood Count test on her and found that she has an infection from a tick bite. Last Thursday I noticed that Bella had not eating all day and her water bowl remained full also. That night she started to tremble and had trouble breathing. The next morning she vomited several times and there was blood in it. Because of the holiday week-end she did not see the vet until Monday morning. At that point he though that it was food poising and treated her for that.
Later that night she started to bleed from the nose and was unsteady on her feet. Call the vet first thing this morning and I took her in. She took two full bottles by IV and the Vet injected her with vitamin K-1 (to help her blood clot) and 300 mg of Doxycycline. She seemed to improve after this treatment, but is still a very sick dog.
I gave her the first of the medication tonight (3, 100 mg tabs of the DOX) and 10 minuets later she threw them back up. The vet said this might happen and to Wait an hour and try again. If she can keep the meds down, she might make it.
God I hate that this is dependant on how much money it will cost. But at a certain point, that's the bottom line. That and her quality of life!
She is part of my family and I'm worried that we will lose her!!
I hope GOD is watching over her tonight!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sad start to the new year!

This is Bela, one of my two dogs. She is very sick right now and I'm not sure she is going to make it. She is a Catahula Leopard dog and a sweet hart! She came to me about 8 or 9 month's ago as a week-end dog-sitting request from my ex-wife's brother and she ended up staying. She became part of the family the minute she walked through the door! Her and Daisy (my terrire mix) became fast friends and spent all their time together. And even the cats tolerated her.
Last Thursday night she started having problems breathing and she was shivering like she was cold. I noticed that she had stopped eating and was drinking a lot of water. She started vomiting later that night, but it was mostly water. As it was the start of the New Year week-end and the fact that I'm low on funds, I was not able to get her to the Vet until yesterday.
He seems to think that she may have food poisoning and wanted to keep her for tests and to get her on IV liquids. But that was going to cost way more than I could afford, so he sent her home with medications and instructions to try to get her to take some ice cubes in.

This is Bela and Daisy out enjoying the snow last week-end. She is a very happy dog and always smiling. But not much smiling for the past couple days.
Last night I got one of the pills into her and even got her to lick at some ice cubes. But she later started to bleed from the nose and I tried to stop that and keep her as comfortable as I could. Called the Dr. first thing this morning and told him what had been going on and he suggested that I try to get some Gatorade in her.
She took a little of it and then wanted to go outside. She did her thing and then had trouble getting back up the steps to the house.
Like I said a VERY SICK DOG!!!